JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Gatecrashed by the Lord (Monckton)

What more could a skeptic ask? We’d organized our first ever skeptics social event, to celebrate that last month Australia missed an emissionary bullet. Forty people met, honored to be able to talk to the only man in Australian parliament with a PhD in science–Dennis Jensen. There were toasts all round for his insight and courage in speaking out years ago, when hardly anyone else did.

Then in one of those few moments in life when the truly unlikely happens, Christopher Monckton appeared. Having just flown from the UK to Sydney, arriving only this morning on the other side of the country, he and his wife Juliet had flown to Perth for a meeting tomorrow (an extra 4000 km each way). There was no other night this could have happened. The crowd were delighted.

Both Monckton and Jensen were in fine form.

I highly recommend connecting skeptics together. One of the rewards of working hard to expose the way science has been exploited is that I meet great people: independent thinkers, conscientious people, passionate and dedicated souls.

That’s one thing I’ll miss when every man and his pet fish knows how exaggerated the claims are for AGW–it won’t work as […]

Droughts might not be due to carbon-dioxide, says CSIRO

Still in the theme of Shock!-The-Media-IS-Reporting-The-News: The Canberra Times announced on it’s front page that CSIRO is not so sure that droughts are due to increased carbon dioxide. Only a few months ago, they announced the exact opposite.

September 2009: A three-year collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO has confirmed what many scientists long suspected: that the 13-year drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change.

Jan 2010: One of the report’s co-authors, hydrologist David Post, told The Canberra Times there was ”no evidence” linking drought to climate change in eastern Australia, including the Murray-Darling Basin.

Back in September, this long study was based on the old trick of using climate models and “subtracting” the natural causes to see what’s left. It’s also known as “Argument from Ignorance”. Since we can’t predict the climate five years in advance, obviously there are factors or weightings in those climate models that aren’t right. Ruling out “what we know” doesn’t prove anything at all, except that there is a lot we don’t know.

When David Stockwell analysed climate models and Australian droughts, he found that random numbers were more likely to predict droughts successfully. […]

Is the media awakening? GlacierGate gets traction.

The Sunday Times and The Australian both picked up the scandal of the IPCC claims that the Himalayan glaciers might melt by 2035. The claim turned out to be based only on a WWF report, which in turn was based on a New Scientist article from 1999. The Australian story today was headline front page news: UN’s Blunder on Glaciers Exposed.

The rigorous IPCC methodology amounts to this:

Here’s the IPCC Quote from Chapter 10 of the Fourth Assessment Report:

Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).

10 out of 10 based on 1 rating […]

ClimateGate arrives in the US

BREAKING NEWS: Manipulated Datasets at NASA and NCDC

Once again, the audacity and brazen manipulation of scientific evidence is shocking. These are very serious allegations.

Thermometers moved from cold mountains to warm beaches; from Siberian Arctic to more southerly locations, and from pristine rural locations to jet airport tarmacs.

There were around 6000 thermometers 20 or 30 years ago in the global data set, but in 1989-1990, the number of thermometers were reduced to around 1,500. A new study shows a dramatic pattern of artificial adjustments in the way these thermometers were included or deleted. Jonathon Coleman announced the study results tonight on his blog and also in his broadcast (see below).

Apparently officials systematically left out colder thermometer recordings and kept in hotter data, and where there were empty points on the map, they “filled them in” with calculations instead of measurements. The data was homogenized, and the adjustments always increased the warming. This is the telltale sign of chicanery. This is how we know there were artificial adjustments. Normal scientific corrections are random, not all tending in one direction.

E.Michael Smith notes “When doing a benchmark test of the program, I found patterns in the input data from […]

Consensus? What consensus?

How many scientists does it take to prove the debate is not over? More than 30,000 scientists have signed The Petition Project. More than 9,000 of them have PhDs (not that that proves anything about carbon, but it does prove something about the myth of “consensus”). The petition’s wording is unequivocal:

“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.” Source: www.petitionproject.org

The Petition Project is funded by donations from individuals and run by volunteers. It receives no money from industry or companies. In late 2007, The Petition Project re-did the petition to verify names again.

AGW says: Everyone knows the petition is bogus and filled with duplicate and fake names.

Skeptics say: Name 10 fakes.

8.2 out of 10 based on 9 ratings […]

What does an Australian farmer have to do to make the news?

What has The Australian got against a destitute farmer? Compare their coverage of one farmers protest with other hunger strikers:

When a sex offender protesting his innocence went on a hunger strike, it only took 6 days for The Australian to write about it. Taiwan’s former president went on a hunger strike which was reported as it ended after 5 days. Serial killer Ivan Milat only had to wait a couple of days to make the Australian with a hunger strike that only lasted for five days all up, and its conclusion was noteworthy too.* When three Australian Tamils went on a hunger strike they made headlines after 3 days, and also here. Some Sri Lankan asylum seekers agreed to end their hunger strike after 2 days and the story was covered sympathetically.

This is not to detract from the seriousness of some of the above claimants. But compare the reportage about Peter Spencer who started his hunger strike on November 23, 2009. For 25 days there was not even a short note to alert other farmers or landholders that there was a hunger strike underway by an Australian citizen, on Australian soil.

It was Day 26, before […]

Monckton & Plimer tour Australia: dates & venues

UPDATE 3: Extra events in Perth and Sydney due to demand – see this latest post.! You must pre register to avoid disappointment for the Sydney final event on Friday. (download PDF!) The email to use is: ‘[email protected]’ OR FAX: (02) 4861 2029

There is no one quite like Christopher Monckton, with his background in Latin classics, journalism, work for the Thatcher government, and dogged persistence to analyze the numbers. Last year he spoke in New York, Washington, Copenhagen, and across Canada (and that’s just the ones I know of, off the top of my head). Monckton is a gem of a man, and this is a rare opportunity to see him in action. He’s been storming the world for years now, a constant thorn in Al Gore’s side. Monckton challenged Gore to debate in March 2007. Al Gore claims “he want’s to convince the world”, but he’s had almost three years and still can’t find a single day to explain the “overwhelming” evidence on TV with Monckton present.

Ian Plimer, Professor of Mining Geology at The University of Adelaide, has made a huge impact around the globe with his book Heaven and Earth which has gone into its […]

The carbon market blinks — $130b trainwreck slows

For the last five years the carbon market has been doubling year after year. But in 2009, the exponential growth trajectory paused. Point Carbon issued a report this week estimating that the world wide market in carbon trading in 2009 totalled around $136 billion dollars, which is not much higher than the 2008 figure. After years of living in a rapacious bubble, prices are about 60% below the peaks of 2008, carbon traders are starting to peel out into other commodities, and the sails are looking decidedly flat on the Maxi Yacht known as Carbon-Credits Inc.

The size of the market in gigatons of carbon grew nearly 70% over 2008, but the falling prices meant the same amount of money churned through the system and the total dollars were very similar year on year.

How times have changed. Back in May 2009, emissions traders were feeling confident that a US market for emissions would be approved. Not surprisingly, the low carbon prices and the non-event of Copenhagen mean that carbon traders are becoming frustrated. Some are even expanding into… markets that are based on real commodities like oil, gas, gold and steel. [Reuters]

10 out […]

Investigative journalists work hard to… protect the government from the people?

We would hope that The Australian would stand up for … Australians. Instead our National masthead is not investigating the claims of an Australian farmer against our government, they’re not interviewing constitutional law experts, they’re interviewing his brother.

Peter Spencer is on Day 47 of a hunger strike and trying to get compensation for all farmers whose land was effectively expropriated. Journalist, Paul Maley could have investigated the veracity of the $10 billion dollar claim, but instead he tries to assess Peter’s mental health and personal finances. While these might be a relevant part of the big picture, the big-picture itself is missing.

“Family Financial dispute helped send hunger striker Peter Spencer Up Pole”

The Australian sub-heading is: “SERIOUS doubts have emerged about the case of Peter Spencer”,… but the serious doubts amount to a 40 year old story, and the fact that Peter owes money to his family, rather than to the banks. Serious? Not on the scale of billion dollar carbon commitments.

10 out of 10 based on 2 ratings […]

The red tape protest has started

James Loring in Tasmania has had a great idea to support Peter Spencer. He took something known as “flagging tape”, added a scarecrow, and a slow moving sheep and created this message for the world to see.

10 out of 10 based on 2 ratings […]